Shredded Beef Enchiladas (IP/Crockpot!) – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

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Overhead view of a pan filled with Shredded Beef Enchiladas


Dinner

Dinner

Shredded Beef Enchiladas are made with soft tortillas loaded with refried beans, an ultra-tender shredded beef mixture, and plenty of cheese. The enchiladas are covered in a flavorful red sauce and baked to perfection! Top ’em off with your favorite enchilada toppings such as a diced avocado, diced tomatoes, fresh herbs, sour cream, or green onions.

Overhead view of a pan filled with Shredded Beef Enchiladas

Easy Shredded Beef Enchiladas

My kiddos go crazy for these Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas–in fact, I’ve recently started making two pans because they love them so much–some for dinner and some for an after-school snack the next day. (Yes–they really eat them as an after-school snack!)

And then I surprised them with these Shredded Beef Enchiladas. At first the dish was met with massive disappointment since they were not the beloved vegetarian version. However, one bite later and they were hooked! My oldest will tell you he likes these even better.

And since I knew these Shredded Beef Enchiladas would be something I’d be making frequently, it was important to have a simple procedure. That is not always practical with beef–it can take a long time to cook! But thanks to the pressure cooker (or slow cooker), the beef is fairly hands-off and comes together nice and easy. This is a great dish to break apart the prep time–make the beef and sauce one day then assemble the enchiladas another day!

Process shots: season the roast and sautee in an instant pot; flip and sautee the other side; remove and set aside..

Below are our top tips to making the best Shredded Beef Enchiladas!

How To Make Shredded Beef Enchiladas

  1. Sear the beef. This adds a nice crust that creates a much deeper flavor and yield a better texture of meat. It’s so easy to sear right in the pressure cooker, but if you are using a slow cooker, sear in a separate pan first.
  2. Pressure cook. Cook the beef all the way through in a seasoned red sauce–we use short-cuts here: a taco seasoning packet and red enchilada sauce. If you’d prefer, make your own seasoning mix–see “quick tip” box below.
  3. Shred beef and assemble enchiladas. Once beef is cooked, shred it, toss with some of the sauce, and then set up an assembly line to prepare the enchiladas. Set out a tortilla, spread on refried beans, add saucy beef, sprinkle on cheese, and roll up tightly. We then use the sauce leftover in the pressure cooker to cover the enchiladas and bake to cheesy perfection!

QUICK TIP

If you prefer to make your own seasoning mix (and have a few extra minutes), try this homemade Taco Seasoning recipe; it’s our favorite!

Process shots: Add onion to the instant pot and sautee; add seasonings and continue to cook.

Using Leftover Enchilada Sauce

The sauce makes more than you’ll need for one batch of this recipe. Don’t try to cut down the sauce though–these Shredded Beef Enchiladas work best with the volume indicated in the recipe. Here are some ways we like to use leftover sauce:

Process shots: Add enchilada sauce and green chiles to the instant pot; return beef to the pot and cook; remove meat and shred.

What is the secret to good enchiladas?

  1. Use a beef chuck roast — This particular cut of beef–especially a well-marbled one–makes for the most tender and succulent beef–unbelievably good in Shredded Beef Enchiladas.
  2. The better the tortillas, the better the enchiladas! We love these unbaked tortillas by TortillaLand®. They are generally found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near shredded cheeses. You’ll need to quickly cook them up in a skillet before adding the fillings. (Otherwise, use already cooked tortillas.)
  3. Use a tasty enchilada sauce you love. Enchilada sauce can vary greatly in flavor and heat from brand to brand. Personally, I love and recommend Old El Paso® mild red enchilada sauce (not sponsored). If you aren’t able to find this specific brand, I’d recommend tasting the enchilada sauce first and making sure it isn’t too spicy and that you enjoy the flavor.
  4. Freshly grate the cheese. For the best melt and flavor, grate cheese off the block. Pre-shredded cheese doesn’t melt as nicely.

QUICK TIP

Use leftover tortillas in our favorite easy Tortilla Pie!

Process shots: Combine cheeses and reserve 1 cup; spread refried beans on the tortilla; top with beef and cheese.

Toppings

Whatever you typically like on enchiladas will go great with this recipe for Shredded Beef Enchiladas. Below are some of our favorites: 

  • Fresh lime juice: This adds so much freshness and vibrancy!
  • Cilantro: Finely dice or just pull off a few pieces to top the enchiladas.
  • Sour cream: Fat-free or light sour cream is also a great option.
  • Avocado: Thinly sliced ripe avocado adds a nice creamy component! Guacamole is also delicious.
  • Cherry tomatoes: Dice a few ripe cherry tomatoes or add a spoonful of salsa or pico de gallo on top for some freshness.

Process shots: Tightly roll the filled tortilla; add to pan; spread enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas; bake; remove, add more cheese and return to the oven.

Shredded Beef Enchiladas FAQs

1Should I bake enchiladas covered or uncovered?

Both! Start by covering the enchiladas with foil and baking until thoroughly heated through. Then, remove foil, add cheese and bake again uncovered. We cover them to help them bake through while keeping them from drying out.

2Do you spray the pan for enchiladas?

Yes! Spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray before filling it pup with sauce and enchiladas. Because of the longer baking time, the pan will end up pretty crusty if not sprayed.

3What is the red sauce on enchiladas made of?

We use a short-cut here: store-bought enchilada sauce. Make sure to get an enchilada sauce you enjoy and that isn’t too spicy.

4What is the best cheese to use for enchiladas?

We like a combination of sharp (or extra sharp) Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese best. Avoid using just Cheddar as it can be a little too oily in enchiladas.

5Do you put enchilada sauce in before or after cooking?

Before! The enchilada sauce makes the enchiladas saucy and delicious and we want it to be the same temperature as the enchiladas.

6What is in these enchiladas?

We start with soft flour tortillas that get loaded up with saucy shredded beef. We also add in refried beans and plenty of cheese.

7How do you make shredded beef for the enchiladas?

Use a pressure or slow cooker to cook a chuck roast in enchilada sauce. The roast will be fall-apart tender and ridiculously tasty after slow cooking all day (or pressure cooking for about an hour).

Overhead view of Shredded Beef Enchiladas on a plate.

More Delicious Recipes:

Shredded Beef Enchiladas

Shredded Beef Enchiladas are made with soft tortillas loaded with refried beans, an ultra-tender shredded beef mixture, and plenty of cheese. The enchiladas are covered in a flavorful red enchilada sauce and baked to perfection! Top ’em off with your favorite toppings such as a diced avocado, diced tomatoes, fresh herbs, sour cream, or green onions.

Shredded Beef Enchiladas

Shredded Beef Enchiladas are made with soft tortillas loaded with refried beans, an ultra-tender shredded beef mixture, and plenty of cheese. The enchiladas are covered in a flavorful red enchilada sauce and baked to perfection! Top ’em off with your favorite toppings such as a diced avocado, diced tomatoes, fresh herbs, sour cream, or green onions.

Instructions

  • INSTANT POT: (To use slow cooker, See Note 4). Plug in Instant Pot and press the “sauté button.” Wait until it reads “HOT.” Meanwhile, remove chuck roast from packaging and pat dry all over with paper towel. Season all over with salt and pepper (I add 1-1/2 tsp salt & 1 tsp pepper).

  • SEAR ROAST: Once the instant pot reads “HOT”, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Then place the seasoned chuck roast in the pot (press so it’s all in one even layer touching bottom of pot). Brown for 7 minutes on each side without flipping or moving at all in between. The roast may look blackened or even burnt, but don’t worry; that’s how it’s supposed to be! Remove and set aside on a cutting board. Top with foil and let rest.

  • PRESSURE COOK: Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the instant pot along with the diced onion. Sauté, scraping up browned bits at the bottom of the pot (otherwise you’ll get a “burn” warning). Sauté for about 3 minutes and then add in seasonings and sauté another minute. Finally add in both cans of enchilada sauce and undrained green chiles and stir. Return roast along with any juices accumulated on plate. Submerge under liquid. Seal pressure cooker, setting valve to “sealed”. Pressure cook on manual mode for 45 minutes then allow for a slow/natural release for 25 minutes.

  • SHRED BEEF: Once the beef is cooked, remove it to a plate and let slightly cool. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Shred beef with two forks, discarding all of the fat. Briskly whisk the sauce left in the Instant Pot (seasonings tend to settle at the bottom) and taste, adding extra salt/pepper if needed. Add 1 cup of the sauce to the shredded beef and stir. Spread another 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom of a well-greased 9×13-inch pan.
  • CHEESE: In a medium-sized bowl, toss together the sharp Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Remove 1 cup of the cheese and set aside for topping enchiladas later.

  • ASSEMBLE ENCHILADAS: Set out 8 large tortillas. Divide the can of refried beans evenly by spreading about 2 tbsps down the center of each tortilla. Next, evenly divide the saucy shredded beef right on top. Evenly divide the remaining cheese over the beef. Tightly roll up each tortilla then place (seam side down) on top of the sauce in the prepared pan. Briskly whisk enchilada sauce again and pour 2 cups evenly on top of enchiladas (you’ll have a bit leftover enchilada sauce–See Note 5). Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and top evenly with the 1 cup of the cheese that was set aside. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

  • GARNISH: Let the enchiladas rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Then serve, topped with your favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Homemade taco seasoning: Combine the following and use in place of the package: 1 tablespoon ground chili powder, 1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, paprika and 1/2 teaspoon each: onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, fine sea salt, pepper
Note 2: Enchilada sauce: This ingredient can vary greatly in flavor and heat from brand to brand. Personally, I love and recommend Old El Paso® mild red enchilada sauce. If you aren’t able to find this specific brand, I’d recommend tasting the enchilada sauce first and making sure it isn’t too spicy and that you enjoy the flavor.
Note 3: The better the tortillas, the better the enchiladas! We love these unbaked tortillas by TortillaLand®. They are generally found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near shredded cheeses. You’ll need to quickly cook them  in a skillet before adding the fillings. (Otherwise use already cooked tortillas.)
Note 4: How to cook the beef in a slow cooker:

  • PREP BEEF: Remove chuck roast from packaging and pat dry all over with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper (I add 1-1/2 tsp salt & 1 tsp pepper).

  • CHAR BEEF: Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or oven-safe, heavy-bottomed pot) over medium-high heat. Once you can feel the heat when you hold your hand 6 inches above the pot, add the beef. Brown for about 5 minutes or until you get a nice crust and it releases easily from the pan when lifted. Flip and brown for another 5 minutes. Don’t skip this step– we are adding layers of flavor here. Once the beef is nicely seared with a good crust, remove it from the Dutch oven and place it in the slow cooker. Reduce heat to low, add in 1 more tablespoon oil and add onion. Sauté for 3 minutes, add seasonings and sauté another 1 minute. Stir in 1 can enchilada sauce and scrape up any browned bits in the pan. Transfer all of this mixture into slow cooker along with the other can of enchilada sauce and undrained can of green chiles. 

  • COOK: Cover and cook on LOW for 7-9 hours or until beef is very tender and succulent. Alternatively, cook on high for 5-7 hours. (We don’t find the beef as tender when cooked on high, but it works.). Now go back to recipe above following step 4 and on!

Note 5: Leftover enchilada sauce: The sauce makes more than you’ll need for one batch of these enchiladas. Don’t try to cut down the sauce volume–we need it for the beef to cook properly. Check out the post for ways to use leftover sauce!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 888kcal | Carbohydrates: 62.5g | Protein: 67.1g | Fat: 40.1g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 2566mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 13g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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